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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mic Century Modern Mind

 I have had a fascination with mid century modern (MCM) design, architecture and aesthetic since I was a small child playing with boxes of colorful books and packages in our attic. There was nothing special about these things. In fact, most of these things were little more than a dozen years old when I found them. The architecture of the period took a bit longer to grow on me. I often found MCM architecture too clean, too artificial -- it often left me cold. It seemed -- still seems -- so lonely. The building at left is the Niagara Power Vista, an awesome piece of period architecture.
 Another type of design from the period is known by several names, most popularly "Googie," after a 1950s coffee shop in California. Known for sweeping rooflines and oddball shapes, it was once considered a scourge on the landscape. Now preservationists fight to save these buildings. Many Buffalo-are libraries built in the era are prime examples of period architecture, like the Lake Shore branch in Wanakah.
I have not been able to really find the genesis of mid century graphic design. Oh, but when I see it -- I can't explain why I love it so much. This placque is outside of the Giraffe House at the Buffalo Zoological Gardens.
The west side crown jewel, the Saarinen's Kleinhans Music Hall was built in the late thirties, just outside of the MCM brackets. However, it foretells of the MCM period too come, with its sweeping shapes, clean lines and open space.

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